Review: Jack Foley
IT'S taken two long years for L.A.-based trio, Moving Units,
to put out their debut album, Dangerous Dreams, and while the
journey may, at times, have appeared nightmarish, the wait is
probably worth it.
The album is a feisty little dance-punk experience with some
belting tracks - but one which occasionally struggles to differentiate
itself from the US-based disco-punk sound emanating from the likes
of The Rapture and co.
It does start strongly, however, with Emancipation -
a track rich in edgy lyrics ('you control me' / 'I'm your
slave'), crashing cymbals, thumping basslines and a rigorous
dancefloor workout midway through - providing a lively opener.
It is quickly followed by forthcoming single, Between Us
& Them, which recalls the jagged guitar rifts of Franz
Ferdinand and The Killers, set against the distinct vocals of
lead singer, Blake Miller.
Indeed, it is a feature of the album that it oozes some fairly
ferocious melodies, all driven by Chris Hathwell's unrelenting
Yet while this can be inspiring, it can also get tiring, and
the longer the album persists in driving up the tempo, the slightly
less interesting it gets.
Dangerous Dreams works far better when mixing things
up a bit, flitting between the disco grooves of Going For
Adds (during which Miller's vocals sound spookily like a
young Damon Albarn's), to the slightly more thoughtful, electronica-driven
Anyone and its haunting vocals.
The chorus, in particular, features a memorable melody that really
forces you to take notice.
The echoing guitars of Scars ensure that the quality
is maintained, building to another album highlight, but it's downhill
from that point as the album tends to relax into easy disco-punk
rhythms and routine guitar rifts.
Given the vibe surrounding them, however, it's little wonder
they are supporting the likes of Secret Machines already - which
means their reputation ought to grow and grow.
For as Miller states: "Dangerous Dreams has little
to do with the latest dance-punk phenomenon and more to do with
the restless inner workings of three clumsy musicians who have
no choice but to throw their heart and soul into these songs.
"The truth of the matter is, what we did at the time was
a really honest emotional expression, but it just happened to
coincide with a sort of musical zeitgeist."
It is the sort of honest statement that is born out in the raw
style of the album - one which mostly impresses with its brashness
and authenticity, but which can also appear, as Miller says, 'restless